I think we were both awake with the larks this morning for some reason. I got woken up by the ducks outside going mad. There was a very gobby duck letting the world know they were about. I love ducks, but not at 6.30am when I am supposed to be asleep. There was nothing for it but to get up and make a cup of tea. Having downed my tea, I snuggled back down and did doze back off to sleep. I had a very strange dream about being moored in a basin, where a boating event was about to happen and we were surrounded by boats. I was selling sweets and bric a brac to passing trad. A small lad bought some penny sweets and he wanted his change in five and one pence pieces, so he could play the machines at the arcade. I know totally odd, as I am not sure you can even get penny sweets anymore and you most definitely can not go to an arcade and spend pennies. I got woken out of the dream by the hire boat behind us starting his engine.
That hire boats company almost had me knocking on their boat in my PJ's last night at 9.50pm when their engine started up grrrrrrrrrr. I sat in the chair watching Jamie Oliver, thinking "if they do not turn that engine off, I am going to go and say something". That thought went on for over half an hour, when the engine went off, thank goodness. I am not one for confrontation, as it only ever causes bad feeling, but people should be more respectful of others.
So there was I up at 8.45am and Paddy and I were off across the field. Paddy was actually steaming across the field like a scolded cat (dog). I think it is his favourite place to run. The sun was out and it was beginning to warm the chill.
Breakfast over with, we prepared for the off. Having left the mooring, I walked up and operated the swing bridge. Keith swung the boat on to the lock mooring and I then walked up and found the Lock Keeper who was at the top of the flight. Phew I was all puffed out having reached the top. There was a definite whiff of Bacon in their air coming from the cafe. Ohhhh I could have done with a Bacon butty. The lockie said we could come on up, and that he did not need to give us a hand as we knew what to do. I should hope we do by now, so it was a quick walk back down the flight and I set the first of the locks, whilst Keith chatted to Tony Matts who runs the Bridge 61 pub and the shop. We had a good run up the flight, with walkers and visitors watching on.
Like many visitors to the flight, some were eager to ask questions and take lots of photographs. As we got past half way, Jo and John from nb Acen walked up with the dogs Purdy and Darcy. They very kindly helped with the gates as we chatted our way up the rest of the locks. Having reached the top we decided to moor up, instead of going on. We moored up and then joined Jo and John at the Top Lock Cafe for a coffee and a catch up, which was very enjoyable indeed.
The weather is superb, it is as though we have the Summer back. Come Thursday we will be into the Autumn and any warm weather will be a bonus. We will stay here today and then head off tomorrow.
On a different theme. I was shocked to hear that Tony Wright MBE the lock keeper at Atherstone is no longer in his job. It seems he has become surplus to requirements and has left his job. That is such a shame, because he and his wife were such lovely people and Tony absolutely loved his job. He was always so pleasant to chat to and looked after the flight really well. He will be sadly missed. I can now see the Atherstone Flight being complete chaos.